Rathfern Junior Hill Wardens
The Rathfern Junior Hill Wardens were formed in 2015 to get young people from aged 7 upwards, involved in our greatest local asset Carnmoney Hill, we initially decided to do a bit of Hill Walking which blossomed into Hill Walking, Orienteering, using the Phonetic Code, two way radios, writing risk assessments, map and compass reading and a lot more.
In 2016 we applied to BBC Children in Need for financial support and we received funding for a year, the funding came through the Curiosity Fund which required our plans to be all science related. Since then we received funding each year until this year when our funding from Children in Need ends. However this is not the end of the Hill Wardens, as the Board of Directors of Rathfern Community Regeneration Group have agreed to sponsor the Hill Wardens from our own resources beginning September 2013.
Our outings in the past six months have included the Armagh Planetarium, W5 in Belfast, World of Owls, the Silent Valley, Bracken Hill, The Donkey Sanctuary, HMS Caroline, Newcastle Beach County Down, Slemish Hill Mountain Rescue and The Gobbins Path. We also have had a Science Teacher coming in each week to carry out fun science related activities, plus we had Creep Critters visiting us on three occasions with a range of animals.
As part of the funding package the young people receive all the outdoor clothing they might require for going up hills and mountains and outdoor activities. Although we kept in touch with the children during the co-vid crisis through setting tasks and competitions they could do at home to help their parents, we were not able to spend the funding we received and it was through BBC Children in Need they agreed to let us take on and pay a part-time Community Mentor to assist the planning and booking of venues and coaches for our outings and classroom activities. This has worked in our favour and will mean we can now spend the allocated budget. Here are some of the photographs taken on our excursions.